European Communications

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Telesur Suriname selects Comverse Real-Time Billing and SMS Solutions to support rapid subscriber growth and uptake of advanced services

Comverse, a leading supplier of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication and billing services, has announced that Telesur has selected Comverse’s Real-Time Billing Solution (RTBS) and Short Message Service Center (SMSC) to replace legacy competitor systems in its GSM network in Suriname.

“We selected Comverse solutions because of their flexible open architecture, rich roadmaps and opportunity for operational efficiency,” said Frans Eersteling, Product Manager of Mobile services, Telesur. “We have rapid market growth and need to be able to quickly and reliably launch new services. Comverse solutions answer our business needs and the local usage habits of our diverse marketplace including support for multiple languages.”

Comverse's Real-Time Billing Solution provides real-time authorization, rating, charging and control of voice calls, data services and m-payment transactions, and supports rapid subscriber growth. Marketing functionalities, such as real-time promotions, usage awards and discounts help operators drive revenues, while features such as real-time credit limits minimize risk. By bundling Comverse’s high-capacity Short Message Service Center with its advanced Real-Time Billing Solution, operators can improve network efficiency and speed time-to-market of popular new SMS services, such as news flash services and SMS voting.

Wi-Next powers Europe's widest municipal mesh network

Wi-Next technology provides broadband access to 21 remote Italian villages

Wi-Next, an open-source Wi-Fi company, is to provide broadband access to the Italian region of Alta Langa for the first time as part of Europe’s largest ever wide-area Wi-Fi mesh project.

Alta Langa is a mountainous area in North Western Italy that encompasses 21 small villages and a population of over 8,000 spread across a wide-area (218,740 km sq). Due to the economic and geographical constraints of delivering ADSL in the region, the new network marks the first time the region has been able to bridge the “digital divide” by offering wireless broadband access and enabling greater communications between the public administration and its citizens.

The project - which began two years ago - uses Wi-Next’s NAAW system, an open-source Wi-Fi mesh technology developed in conjunction with the Automatics and Informatics Department of the Politecnico University in Turin. It completely replaces the need for wireline broadband systems such as ADSL by creating an organic mesh network that every network client to operate as a network node and communicate with each other, allowing the network to be extended quickly and efficiently.  Unlike traditional Wi-Fi networks, which use a centralised model with a single access point, NAAW uses a “many-to-many” model that continually reconfigures itself and maintains the network even as nodes are added or removed. 

“We have solved the problem of the ‘digital divide’ by offering the access to the internet ‘always and everywhere’, just like in a big city,” says Michele Ferraudo, the designer of the installation. “The gap is not only digital, but also cultural. We have developed a real wireless network that allows people to connect to each other, makes communications possible between the Public Administration and its citizens thanks to encrypted VPN, and has the potential to offer many new innovative services as well.”

The project was developed in conjunction with the Union of Mountain Communities (UNCEM) and BBBELL, a local operator from Turin responsible for delivering the high-speed radio connectivity for the different villages in the region.

The new NAAW-based network provides the platform for a range of new services that can be rolled out over the coming months thanks to close co-operation between the public (Alta Langa, UNCEM) and private (Wi-Next, BBBELL) stakeholders in the project. New services are expected to include public transport services, hot-spots and low-cost home broadband. 

‘We have overcome many technical and legal challenges but are now ready to extend services to all citizens and companies in the region,” said Alessandro Barbero, the President of Alta Langa. “We aim to offer to every family or company in Alta Langa a tested and efficient broadband service at a fair price.”

BT announces new mobility services for the Spanish market

BT has announced the launch of its mobility services in Spain as part of an agreement reached with Vodafone Spain. The new mobility service will be the first in the Spanish market aimed at businesses and the public sector. 

Through the agreement, BT will become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) extending its global portfolio of services and solutions to include networking, information technology, communications and mobility. According to the terms of this agreement, BT will operate through Vodafone Spain’s mobile network. 

The new mobility service offering will be available in the summer and will allow BT to offer its customers value-added mobility services such as mobile video-telephony, audio/video streaming services, location based services or fixed-mobile convergence services, BT will be able to offer its customers a single supplier for all their networked IT services requirements – with one contract, one bill and one integrated customer support function

Luis Álvarez, chairman of BT Spain, said: “Convergence is the new paradigm of services our customers demand. We are delighted to be able to meet their requirements now that we are able to offer mobility services to complement our existing portfolio.  This announcement gives BT the ability to accelerate the roll-out of innovative mobility services, most important of which will be enhanced functionality on our ground-breaking fixed-mobile convergence service, BT Corporate Fusion that launches in Spain this summer.”

Rakesh Mahajan, BT’s Global Director of Mobility, said: “Across the globe, modern business is increasingly mobile – with employees needing simple, secure, reliable access to information and resources whether they are travelling, at home or in the office. This agreement with Vodafone Spain means that our corporate and government customers in Spain can come to us for all of their mobility needs.

“This announcement exemplifies our global commitment to offer our business and public sector customers a comprehensive suite of services that span fixed networking, IT and fixed communications, as well as mobile voice, messaging, mail and even company-specific applications.”

Subex Azure launches Symphona V9.1 for advanced interparty billing

Latest version to help telecom operators manage rapid rate of change in the next-generation service environment

Subex Azure, a leading vendor of revenue maximization solutions for telecom operators, has announced the launch of Symphona V9.1, the latest version of its interparty management system. Symphona enables wireline and wireless telecom operators to quickly and accurately bill customers and settle payments with partners using a single modular platform.

Part of the Rocware suite of revenue maximization solutions, Symphona V9.1 will enable telecom operators to better manage the rapid rate of change in the  next-generation service environment by providing subscribers with self-configuration rights and multiple currency transactions. This will help reduce dramatically the operator’s time-to-market and subsequent time-to-settlement.

The new features and benefits available of Symphona V9.1 will enable:
 - A telecom operator to upgrade network components quickly and thereby manage and properly bill for new, next-generation service rollouts
 - Quick settlement of outstanding payments through automated and instantaneous traffic correction at summary level thus eliminating the typical delays associated with slow processing of CDRs
 - Implementation of tariff rate agreements in multiple currencies that can be imported directly into the interconnect billing system
 - Settlement of a bill from an operator in multiple currencies if required for different geographies and services.

Geoff Ibbett, Director of Product Management at Subex Azure, said:  “With Symphona V9.1 telecom operators can experience faster and smarter operations as they rollout high-margin services that require exact tracking and reconciliation with third-party content and services. This new version provides simplicity in a highly complex network environment where technology changes with the blink of an eye. “

Symphona V9.1 is available immediately.

Poland

Siemens Networks has signed a contract with Telekomunikacja Kolejowa (Warsaw) for the supply and implementation of the modern optical transport platform Surpass hiT 7300 and the TNMS management system. The contract covers the construction of transmission links in the Berlin-Warsaw, Warsaw-Krakow and Krakow-Bielsko-Biala sections. The system offers a maximum capacity of 40 transmission channels at a bit rate of 10 Gigabits per second per wavelength – totalling 1.6 Terabit per second.

On the Berlin-Warsaw section, Siemens efficient solutions will replace the currently used links, while the two remaining sections will be built from scratch. “This project will allow Telekomunikacja Kolejowa to extend the market share of the innovation IP services for business, operators and administration”, said Jakub Prusik spokesman of Telekomunikacja Kolejowa.

“We are glad that we could offer Telekomunikacja Kolejowa the most up-to-date transmission solutions, characterised by high flexibility which will result in a considerable reduction of operational and investment costs. Owing to these solutions, the Telekomunikacja Kolejowa will be able to offer its customers faster connections meeting the current technological requirements of enterprises”, said Bernd Schumacher, President of the Optical Network Division of Siemens Networks.

Ornis selects Highdeal for pricing, rating and billing for new IP Business Services

Ornis, a leading infrastructure and Software as a Service provider, has selected Highdeal, the leading provider of Pricing and Rating solutions to power its IP Business Service offering to enterprises.

Created in 1999, Ornis began offering services such as VPN, email and back-up solutions in just one territory. Today they provide services to over 1000 companies world-wide, providing on-demand IT services and software around the clock.

Highdeal's awarding winning pricing and rating solution Highdeal Transactive was selected by Ornis to rapidly introduce telephony offers such as outsourced Centrex and Trunking services to enterprises. Highdeal will be pricing, rating and billing the new Ornis IP telephony service for small and medium sized organisations through to major enterprise.

The robust Highdeal Transactive solution will also be supporting large volumes of transactions generated from the Ornis business offering, including site to site, local, national and international calls as well as various subscription, line rental and equipment charges.

Ornis has further plans to maximize the benefits of Highdeal Transactive for future communications services such as hosting convergent communications solutions for enterprise and operators. This strategy represents a major business opportunity for Ornis as they develop indirect sales of IP telephony services through various partnerships with integrators, resellers, installers, and IT service companies.

“We chose the Highdeal solution because of its wide range of capabilities corresponding to our current activities. Highdeal appears to be the only solution that can handle CDR tickets as well as Managed services on a recurrent basis. Another appealing feature of Highdeal Transactive is its great flexibility and versatility,” said J F Fabry CEO of Ornis.

“We are very excited about this relationship with Ornis, a leading ASP provider which is growing so quickly. This contract underlines Highdeal's increasing momentum in the 'Software as a Service' domain and extends Highdeal's footprint in the IP Centrex space within the enterprise market,” said Eric Lavenir, EVP Sales EMEA at Highdeal.

Sweden's first Triple Play operator chooses Lavastorm to protect business and customers

Com Hem to implement Lavastorm business assurance solution to automate revenue assurance, fight fraud and manage interconnect settlement

Lavastorm Technologies, a Martin Dawes Systems company and a global supplier of business assurance software, has today announced that Com Hem, Sweden’s leading Triple Play operator, is implementing its business assurance software.

Lavastorm is delivering the applications for revenue assurance, fraud management and interconnect settlement into one integrated and converged platform, providing Com Hem with significant benefits in efficiency and effectiveness over those three application areas.  Any anomalies can be detected quickly and easily and the software will enable Com Hem to resolve any problem effectively.

By automating the entire revenue assurance process, Com Hem will prevent leakage by monitoring and analysing usage data more precisely to ensure correct invoicing.  The new system will protect both customers and Com Hem by continuously detecting and preventing fraudulent activities.  The system will enable Com Hem to report on it’s inbound and outbound interconnect traffic very precisely, ensuring correct invoicing to and from its interconnect partners.

Martin Kull, Com Hem CTO, comments, “Com Hem places the utmost importance on the accuracy and integrity of its business assurance systems.  By providing us with a state-of-the-art business assurance solution, Lavastorm is giving us the tools we need to further enhance our customers’ experience and give us the controls and insights to build our business.”

Drew Rockwell, CEO of Lavastorm said: "We are delighted to work with an innovative organisation such as Com Hem.  Their choice of Lavastorm gives us confidence that our unique and scaleable approach to this important business issue continues to resonate with any global operator."

Cyfrowy Polsat chooses Nokia as its core network supplier

Cyfrowy Polsat, Poland's largest satellite television broadcaster, is entering the Polish mobile telephony market and has chosen Nokia as its core network supplier. The deal is the first contract in Poland for a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) environment, and includes the Nokia mobile softswitch solution, strengthening Nokia's position as the leading supplier of telecommunications infrastructure in the Polish market.

"Having a strong technology partner is essential when entering a competitive market, such as telecommunications in Poland. Taking into account the rich implementation experience of the local Nokia team, we are convinced that we will manage to complete the project quickly and by the planned market entry date," said Dominik Libicki, President, Cyfrowy Polsat S.A.

"Nokia is excited to be working with such an innovative company as Cyfrowy Polsat. We believe our technology, as well as our service capabilities, will be a solid foundation for Cyfrowy Polsat to grow its business. We look forward to further co-operation with Cyfrowy Polsat as its business evolves," said Olof Henricsson, Vice-President for Central Europea, Networks, Nokia.

Comverse introduces Real-Time Billing Solution (RTBS) 5.0

Comverse, a leading supplier of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication and billing services, has announced that the launch of its Real-Time Billing Solution release 5.0, which serves as a real-time marketing engine for mobile operators by offering advanced personalization capabilities, à la carte service plan customization and self-care to enable operators to increase revenues, profitability and loyalty from subscribers.

RTBS 5.0 adds new flexibility to the billing environment with its extensible architecture, increased number of balances to support multiple offerings, increased number of accumulators to calculate subscriber usage tied to bonus and discount plans, and à la carte services. The solution provides operators with the ability to quickly create and launch targeted service offerings to different market segments as well as other add-on usage-based services. Users gain convenience and control by adding à la carte services to their standard package and by using the self-service component that allows full provisioning of services and accounts via the Web or WAP. In addition to increasing user satisfaction, self-service also decreases dependence on operator call centers, resulting in reduced operating costs.

“Real-time service creation and customization along with subscriber personalization and self-service all provide an operator with a meaningful, competitive advantage,” said Norbert Scholz, Research Director with Gartner, Inc. “Real-time billing platforms give operators the ability to tailor core product functionality to market, business or operational needs, providing tighter control in the introduction of new Comverse Introduces Real-Time Billing Solution (RTBS) 5.0 services in terms of target audience, introduction period and charging capabilities for services.”

“Real-Time Billing Solution 5.0 redefines the way operators go to market with a service creation environment that enables the quick launch of new services and offers, without dependence on outside vendors,” said Howard Woolf, Group
President, Comverse Converged Billing Solutions. “This, along with sophisticated marketing capabilities based on real-time billing information, provides operators with a competitive edge by allowing them to swiftly react to market trends. With an advanced architecture for integration with IMS networks, RTBS 5.0 is a future-ready, real-time billing solution that serves today's mobile operators' complicated need for differentiation.”